Do I Need Depression Therapy?
- Have you lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy?
- Do you feel exhausted and too tired to do anything?
- Are you irritable and short-tempered at work or home?
- Do you find yourself isolated from friends and family?
- Are you feeling you’re experiencing sadness that just won’t go away?
- Is it hard for you to feel joy or happiness?
- Do you have trouble sleeping?
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
If so, you may be depressed.
Depression Is Different From Sadness or Grief/Bereavement
The death of a loved one, loss of a job, or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
- In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of the two weeks.
- In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
- In grief, thoughts of death may surface when thinking of or fantasizing about “joining” the deceased loved one. In major depression, thoughts are focused on ending one’s life due to feeling worthless or undeserving of living or being unable to cope with the pain of depression.
Grief and depression can co-exist. For some people, the death of a loved one, losing a job, or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression. When grief and depression co-occur, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression.
Depression is not something that just happens. It can sneak on you. You may wake up one day and suddenly realize that you are sad. Feeling lost and disconnected from the world and lacking direction or motivation are hallmarks of depression. People with these challenges find themselves continuously focused on the past, on what could have been or should have been. Individuals who have endured traumatic events often experience unhappiness, as lingering pain from past events continues to impact present-day life and relationships.
The good news is that depression treatable in the hands of an experienced professional therapist. We know Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and meditation, interpersonal counseling and other therapeutic techniques can help alleviate these feelings. Physiological approaches like exercise and light exposure are important as well.
Individuals who seek help for depression get better. You can be one of those people. Counseling can help you regain a sense of control and pleasure in life. Though it requires time, commitment, and effort, you will learn positive coping skills and problem-solving techniques, which will benefit lifelong happiness.
Our experienced and compassionate team of licensed depression therapists will work with you to understand and identify the life problems and events that contribute to feelings of sadness. Together we will work with you to gain insight into the behaviors, ideas, and emotions that are causing you to feel depressed. We will work with you to develop an individualized plan to treat your depression utilizing the most up-to-date treatment protocols.